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The Siege [Paperback]

Helen Dunmore
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 7 2010
Leningrad, September 1941. German tanks surround the city, imprisoning those who live there. The besieged people of Leningrad face shells, starvation, and the Russian winter. Interweaving two love affairs in two generations, THE SIEGE draws us deep into the Levin's family struggle to stay alive during this terrible winter. It is a story about war and the wounds it inflicts on people's lives. It is also a lyrical and deeply moving celebration of love, life and survival.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The final words of Helen Dunmore's The Siege--"No, I shall not wholly die..."(Alexander Pushkin)--respond to the stark threat with which the novel begins: "Re: The future of Leningrad ... The Führer has decided to have Leningrad wiped from the face of the earth". In this powerful work of fiction, Dunmore writes through her fascination with one of the most remarkable, and painful, episodes in Russian history: the siege of Leningrad through the winter of 1941 during which untold thousands perished of cold and starvation.

The Siege is a type of memorial, a literary document to an experience in which, as Dunmore writes, "being dead is normal". People die in the streets, in their beds; whole families are frozen, "bodies piled up by the Karpovka canal, or outside the cemeteries". What does it take to survive? Dunmore explores that question through the powerful characters--Anna Levin, Kolya (her child-brother) and Andrei (her lover)--who people this novel, conjuring the contest with death that becomes the daily existence of the Leningraders, their belief in a world beyond the siege. The Siege is itself part of that world, stricken by memory and the question of what it means for a novel (and a novelist) to take on the "flesh of all those other Leningraders who died of hunger in silent, frigid rooms". This is part of the wager, and accomplishment, of Dunmore's extraordinary book and confirmation of the extraordinary skill and sensitivity, of her writing. --Vicky Lebeau --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'[She is] one of this country's most accomplished literary talents' Daily Telegraph 'Beautifully fulfils the highest function of a storyteller - to make you wonder what will happen next... electrifying' Sunday Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The taking of Leningrad June 28 2014
Written from the viewpoint of those living in Leningrad when they were besieged by the Germans. Very interesting read for those who enjoy historical war stories. This is historical fiction and very well written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent Feb. 25 2011
By may777
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the Siege was an awesome story of survival...

just when you think you can`t go on another day..another hour...

another wake up...filled with intense hunger & cold..

it is in facing our own death... that we find what`s worth living for...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Oct. 23 2010
By Fay G. Smith - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this on my kindle. The Seige of Leningrad and its sequel The Betrayal were both great reads.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Nov. 23 2011
By Miss Melly - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the story of Anna's stuggle to survive the siege of Leningrad, to provide for her family, to stay alive.
You almost feel guilty reading this novel with a full belly. Dunmore drives the hunger into your heart and the Russian winter into your bones.
It doesn't feel quite right to call this novel "beautiful", considering the subject matter - but it is.
Hauntingly beautiful.
4.0 out of 5 stars harrowing truth to a suffered community May 12 2014
By Betty Bartlett - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The day to day perseverance of a city is told with passion. Another disaster from an unnecessary war
and almost destruction of european nations.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Siege - read it June 16 2013
By Meg - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, described the anguish of ordinary Russians experiencing starvation and dreadful conditions. Always aware of the dangers of exposure to horrendous political tyranny and still determined to survive. Gritty and real.
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story Dec 19 2012
By Janet Colson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an absorbing and touching book. Dunmore creates a vivid world through her poetic words. As I learnt about the terrible seige of Leningrad, I could almost feel the crippling cold and ferocious hunger the characters endured, but Dunmore's lightness of touch makes the subject bearable. The emotional threads are well drawn and the story gripping.
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